Child Hostage In Alabama: Tense Situation Enters 7th Day

    February 4, 2013
    Amanda Crum

The man who boarded an Alabama school bus last week, fatally shot the driver and took off with a five-year old boy doesn’t seem any closer to relinquishing his hostage even as the situation enters a seventh day.

65-year old Jimmy Lee Dykes took the boy, Ethan, to an underground bunker at his home and has kept him inside ever since as tensions mount outside. Dykes, who is described by neighbors as a menace who has threatened them with guns and once beat a dog to death with a pipe, has allowed police and the boy’s parents to deliver the child food and medication through a ventilation duct, but he’s not giving negotiators much to go on as far as what his demands are. Police have said that he seems to have a story he wants to tell, and have indicated they might let him talk to a reporter.

As of right now, the main concern is that Ethan, who is autistic and suffers from ADHD, will have what his parents call an “uncontrollable episode” during his stay in the 8’x6′ bunker that will set his captor off. They are hoping his medication will curb any such episode.

Despite Dykes’ violent tendencies, he has indicated to police that he is taking care of Ethan and has supplied him with food and electric blankets to stay warm. The local sheriff thanked Dykes for his concern.

The slain bus driver, Charles Poland, was laid to rest on Sunday and is being hailed as a hero for standing up to Dykes when he boarded the bus and demanded a child.

Image: Alabama Dept. of Public Safety